Are you hoping to drop a dress size or two before swimwear season, but sick and tired of all those miracle weight loss cures? Losing weight and keeping yourself healthy does not have to be rocket science. You also do not need to follow a complicated diet, take pictures and track everything you eat, add all your calories in your smart phone app or starve to lose weight.
All it takes are some great and healthy eating habits, and you are good to go. Here are some of the best diet tips that diet and nutrition experts recommend, and how you can incorporate them into your everyday life.
Tip #1: Focus on adding good stuff to your diet
The main reason why people feel deprived and burned out when they diet is because they constantly zoning in on what they should take away. To avoid this, shed positive light on your diet thinking of what you can add to your diet.
- You can, for example, aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. They virtually have no fat, are low in calories, high in nutritional value and leave less room on your plate for high calorie foods. Fruits and veggies also have plenty of fiber to keep your digestion going.
- You may also want to add more whole foods to your diet. Processed foods are empty, take very little amount to digest and leave you craving like nuts once your stomach becomes empty. Whole foods, on the other hand, are loaded with fiber. They take longer to digest and keep you feeling full and satisfied longer. Choose raw produce and whole grains.
- Spices and herbs are also great additions to your food. Chili, for example, boosts flavor, keeps you satisfied and boosts metabolism.
- Another thing you want to have for all your meals is protein. High protein foods are more satisfying than foods high in fat or carbohydrates, and they can serve as a great weapon against weight loss. Getting plenty of protein in your diet helps encourage fat burning while preserving muscle mass.
Tip #2: Eat several but smaller meals every day
Experts believe that you should never go more than three or four hours without food, because it keeps you from being hungry (and potentially wolfing down more than you should during dinner time), while keeping your energy levels up. You can succeed by spreading out your meals into five mini-meals each day. Or, you can have three main meals and two little snacks in between daily
That said, it is fine to graze between meals because it helps you avoid bingeing or eating more than you should during the next meal. It is so easy to reach out for something yummy for a snack, but make sure that you make the right choices. The best picks are snacks that contain protein, not just carbs. So throw away those chips and grab cup of yogurt with fruit, a stick of string cheese or a turkey wrap to eat.
Tip #3: Eat a big breakfast
Remember the rule: Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper? Well, it does make sense, especially the breakfast part. A good breakfast is a vital meal because it keeps you full and keeps your blood sugar levels at bay throughout the day. Keep your breakfast fun and satisfying by choosing foods that your stomach and taste buds will love like eggs, bacon, toast and fruit.
Tip #4: Pay attention to what you eat
Most of us love to multi-task, which means that we usually eat our meals in front of the TV or computer, or even when driving to our destinations. This habit, however, can lead you to consume around 40% more calories than usual.
Sit yourself down when it is time for a meal and focus on your food. Savor each bite and eat slowly. Indulge all your senses and be mindful of your meal. Not only will you enjoy it, you will end up eating less!
Tip #5: Get distracted
The fourth tip talked about focusing on what to eat. This tip is now the complete opposite. Distract yourself, but under the right circumstances – such as when you are about to give in to a massive craving. When you feel a very strong urge to call for takeout or reach for that tub of ice cream in the fridge, take out your phone and make good use of it. Call a friend and talk about your day.
Research tells us that our cravings only last for about five minutes. If you divert your attention even for a small amount of time, your urge to eat junk will eventually subside.
Tip #6: Be careful of booze
Happy hour is a great time to unwind and have fun with friends, but you really have to be careful with what you drink. An innocent looking cocktail contains as many calories as a blended coffee drink from your local cafe, and it does nothing to quell your appetite. Plan your drinks accordingly over the weekend by sticking to one or two drinks like wine, light beer or soda, which have around 100 calories per serving. If you have a feeling that happy hour will extend until late at night, alternate your drinks with bottles of water so you do not end up drinking too much.
Tip #7: Control your portions
There is no need to stop eating what you like, as long as you follow proper portion control. Are you craving for cake? A very small slice every now and then won’t hurt. The problem begins when you eat the whole cake. It also helps to use measuring equipment to measure your meals, because it keeps you conscious about how much you are eating. While you are at it, make use of smaller plates at home, too.
Tip #8: Drink plenty of water
This sounds unreal but thirst is oftentimes confused with hunger. This means that you often end up eating food, when a glass of water could have done it. Make it a point to drink plenty of water, not just because you want to lose weight, but because you need to do it to stay healthy, too.
If you are not a fan of plan water, add some fruit slices like lemon or berries to give your drink a little bit of flavor. You can also brew infused teas, which pack plenty of flavors but have zero calories.
Tip #9: Beware of the night time snack
Night time snacks are often the time and place for mindless eating. Avoid this by setting a “snacking curfew” at night, or by preparing low calorie snacks like pre-sliced fruit or a pack of low calorie crackers when you feel really hungry late at night.
Tip #10: Keep your expectations real
To lose a pound of fat, you have to burn 3,500 calories, so it is vital that you have a realistic outlook on how long it would take you to lose weight. While diet plays a very crucial role for weight loss, the best approach is to combine it with exercise. A good diet and exercise routine combo can help you lose at least 1 to 2 pounds a week, which is the safest range possible.